Two TMA officials arrested in Rs10m land scam

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TAXILA, Aug 24: The anti-corruption establishment (ACE) on Wednesday arrested two employees of tehsil municipal administration (TMA), Hassanabdal, for their involvement in Rs10 million misappropriations while procuring land for the construction of cricket stadium in 2006.

Sources in the ACE told Dawn that Tehsil officer (planning) Rizwanur Rehman and patwari Arif Mehmood were arrested while their colleague, Tehsil Municipal officer (TMO), Khalid Khan managed to escape.
The ACE on August 9 registered an FIR against the former tehsil nazim of Hassanabdal, Shafqat Ali, former naib nazim, Syed Sada Hussain Shah, former nazim, UC 27, Kafiyat Awan, former naib nazim, UC 27, Malik Mohammad Khursheed, former nazim, UC 27, Zubair Iqbal, councilor Fida Hussain Shah and lady councilor Shamsa Kanwal for misappropriating government fund in procurement of land.

According to FIR, the ACE alleged that the elected representatives misappropriated funds the TMA received from Prime Minister`s Grant in 2006 for development schemes in Hassanabdal Town.Officials of the ACE probing the case said that Rs10 million were drawn as temporary advance in the favour of then town naib nazim and a UC nazim to purchase land for a park and a sports complex but the money was kept in the permanent bank accounts of the recipients.

The investigators further alleged that the committee constituted to purchase the land was formed in violation of the local government rules.

Besides, all the quotations, typed from one computer, were not apparently sealed and did not carry the required two per cent of earnest money, it was alleged.

The ACE also found irregularities in payment for transfer of land in the name of Tehsil Municipal Administration (TMA).

Inquiry officer Amjad Shahzad while talking to this reporter confirmed that two officials of Hassanabdal TMA had been taken into custody.

He said as soon as the department got more solid proof against other accused officials more arrests would be made.

Meanwhile, the revenue officials of Hassanabdal on Wednesday went on pen down strike to protest against the arrest of their colleagues by anti corruption establishment.

Talking to newsmen, President Patwari association Hassanabdal chapter Mohammad Noshad Khan and General Secretary Sher Ali has condemned the arrest of patwari Arif Mehmood.

They claimed that the official was not nominated in the FIR and he was forcibly arrested when he was called to appear before the ACE officials in Rawalpindi for inquiry.

They said the official was being made scapegoat. They vowed to continue the strike till release of their colleague.

Due to strike of the revenue officials, people especially those who came from far flung areas had to face great deal of inconvenience.


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